Virgiliu Bîrlădeanu: Governments kept indifferent attitude to anti-communist resistance movement

After the declaring of Independence, most of the governments had an indifferent attitude to the anti-communist resistance movement and this explains why many people in the Republic of Moldova are nostalgic for the Soviet Union, university lecturer Virgiliu Bîrlădeanu, doctor of history, head of the Contemporary History Department of the Institute of History, stated in an interview with IPN titled “Reasons, forms and effects of anti-Soviet resistance”.

According to him, form one government to another, the historical narrative suffered insignificant changes and these are unable to influence the opinion of the nostalgic for the USSR.

“This is how the governments were. We do not have what to say about the time of Voronin and the subsequent period, when the people were preoccupied and tried to introduce another historical narrative. We, the historians, always tried to speak. Society should know these historical truths. We must come and insist on these themes we consider important. Regrettably, the government is not always receptive to historians’ messages. Sometimes it does not understand why an institute of history or well-grounded synthesis studies are necessary,” said Virgiliu Bîrlădeanu.

The historian considers problems also exist with regard to memorial and history policies.

“In Chisinau City, there is no place, square, monument or at least something where to commemorate such a tragic history page as the famine of 1946-1947. Recently, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova recognized the Ukrainian Holodomor as national genocide, but what do they do at the local level? In Kyiv, there is an extraordinary memorial that reminds the Ukrainians of this tragic page in their history, which mobilizes them and motivates them somehow. In our country, if this does not happen, who should come and do this instead of our government?” asked the historian.

He warned that the government and society are more receptive when particular events are commemorated and detach themselves during the rest of the year.

“The government considers that until the next commemoration date, it is free from taking consistent measures that would bring about results in society, would cause an echo. The attitude of those who are nostalgic could also change. If you talk to them now and tell them about things we are discussing now, they retort, do not admit and say that something like this didn’t happen. This is so because we don’t speak about this every day and if attempts are made to persuade them, it is easier for them to disagree,” added Bîrlădeanu.

The historian noted that in many cases the altering of society’s perception of such phenomena as the anti-communist resistance and national renaissance depends on the intellectual elite and the political class, which need to show more will and involvement.

The interview is part of the series “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”. IPN News Agency holds this series with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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